Sorry, but your social media followers don’t care about your witty Facebook posts – that is, if they’re text. 2012 was the year when visual content soared in value and popularity and became a key driver in social media engagement. 2013 looks to be even better. In fact, 44% of social media users are more likely to engage with brands if they post photos and images than any other kind of media. Pinterest, the visually-driven social media network that no one had heard of 18 months ago, is now the fourth-largest driver of traffic worldwide in front of Yahoo search. It’s clear that visual content is really valued, and your company may be missing out on an engagement opportunity if you’re not posting photos and images, but what’s a small business to do?

Suggestions for increasing social media engagement in your content marketing:

1. Memejack

Who doesn’t love a great meme? From Boromir enunciating to a bemused Willy Wonka, some of the most popular memes are viral-ready. HubSpot blogger Pamela Vaughan recommends the tool as a way to “create some fun, engaging content that show’s off your brands personality and likeability.” No one wants to follow the brand-equivalent of a fuddy-duddy. As an added bonus, memes are among the fastest forms of content marketing, and can be created in seconds for free on several websites.

2. Infographic

While even the world’s best marketers struggle to predict the content that will go viral, infographics are as close to a sure bet as possible in the realm of content marketing. As an added bonus, people are 40% more likely to retain visual information than text. Does your company lack a graphic designer or the funds to outsource? Infographics don’t have to be complex flowcharts. You can do a simple tutorial by compiling photos!

3. Simple Photos

Are you feeling overwhelmed at the thought of integrating visual elements into your content marketing strategy on social media? You might be over thinking it. Starbucks includes a high percentage of photographs on their Facebook page, many of which are simple iPhone shots, that receive lots of social media engagement!

4. Visualize Posts

You know those quotes and pithy sayings that used to be effective Facebook updates before the introduction of the timeline format? Take a few minutes to visualize them – convert into eye-catching images. They don’t have to be fancy or ornately designed, but uploading an image separately will stand out much better in a busy social media feed. No time or technical skills? Kitschy magic marker drawings can even work if you’ve got someone with talent, as Marketing Profs has found.

5. Enhance Your Content Marketing for Social

Sometimes, the easiest way to ensure your content gains social media engagement is to just take a few extra seconds before you hit “publish.” Can you make your content image a bit more descriptive before adding to Pinterest? Even just uploading the image separately from your link will increase your chances of doing well on Facebook.

6. Crowd Source

You don’t have to snap the images yourself, you know. Can you run a social media contest or call for submissions from your fans and followers? Sharing images of happy people enjoying your product might be the best marketing money can buy!

7. Go Behind the Scenes

Every small business is made possible thanks to the hard work of a group of dedicated, talented people. Why not use social media to showcase your employees? The shots don’t need to be well-lit or glamorous to build trust in marketing. Just showcase your employees doing what they do best.